November 2, 2009

A Bit of Wisdom from George the Cat

I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul. — Jean Cocteau

The man’s fingers traced the crease in his forehead. George the Cat nudged him and he scratched the young tom’s head. “George, I’ve been struggling over this problem for days, and I’m stuck. But you don’t ever get stuck, do you?”

To his astonishment, George hopped up on the arm of the chair and said, “Everybody gets stuck. Some of just have the good sense to not let it stop us.”

The man stared at the cat as it continued. “What gets you stuck is when you try and try something and it still doesn’t come out right. Then you try and try more and just get frustrated.” George scratched an ear. “It’s like when you’re trying to catch a bird. Or get the jingly mouse out from under the big cold thing.

“Cats just keep at it until we either get it out or decide is isn’t worth it. We don’t get frustrated. We’re practical.”

“Well, that’s good for you, but here’s where I’m stuck,” said the man. “I have notes and files all over the place. Nothing gets filed, so I go a little crazy. Okay, I go a lot crazy. I’m so cluttered up.”

“So get a box and keep your files in it all the time.” George stretched. “Take it with you and you can also take a good nap on them. It would be nice. Or figure out how to put them inside the clicking picture box. But you can’t take a good nap on that.”

“Filing takes time, computers take time, and I don’t want to lug one around with me everywhere.”

George swished his tail. “You move around too much. Never get it all done because you go and go. Too many complicated things. Gadgets that don’t do anything. Choose one or two things and use them all the time.”

“But I get so many ideas I don’t know what to do with them all.”

“If they’re important you have to capture them for good. Then get rid of the rest.”

The man sighed. “What about all my journal entries? What about them?”

“You complicate everything,” George said. “Just throw the journal things away.”

The man frowned. “What about all the good ideas and things I don’t want to forget?”

“Really, you make things so hard. You are either lazy or dumber than a dog. Collect what you want and turn up your nose at the rest. This is the Discipline of Cat. All I have to do is sit and the right thing to do comes along all by itself.”

“So if things aren’t working, alter or abandon them?” asked the man. “That’s all well and good for you. You’re just a cat. I have lots of things to decide and important things to do.”

“You wait too long to decide. Choose and go.”

The man snorted. “I’ll remind you of that next time I serve your dinner.”

“Food is different.” George licked his paw. “It’s all about smell.”

“Okay, George. I get it,” said the man. “So what do I do right now?”

“Do what’s important.”

“What’s important?”

George purred. “That’s always the real question, isn’t it?”

*** Author’s Note: Yes, I’m the man. Yes, George is real. And yes, he definitely talks. He is, however, a poor typist and sends his best wishes to you through me…

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